Walking forward through Lent, with a vision of the Transfiguration behind us and a vision of the Resurrection before us, we journey through a landscape of Glory! Only recently have I come to view this season in this way. Long has it seemed dreary and gloomy, a series of weeks more characterized by what is not than by what is.
But now, I relish the drab Lenten array fabric and the absence of ornament, a spoken liturgy and the Psalm chanted in a minor key. I sense I am getting closer. I am seeing more of the world in a more-whole way, which gives me hope that I will see more of the world –including myself and others– in a holy way.
As Gerard Manley Hopkins reminds us, “Christ plays in ten thousand places, Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his, To the Father through the features of men’s faces.” [Hopkins: As Kingfishers Catch Fire]
So often Jesus bids us to behold! He invites us to see. We can open the eyes of our hearts to see through love. Willa Cather put this memorably, through the words of Father Vaillant, her slightly fictionalized portrayal of Archbishop Lamy of Santa Fe (in Death Comes for the Archbishop). “The Miracles of the Church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears hear what is there about us always.”
This is a season to see more clearly, and dearly, what is there about us always.